Kids DIY STEM Activity : Make Your Own Levitating/Floating Ball Device

Have your kids experience and experiment the science with this simple DIY project where they will learn to make their own Floating/Levitating Ball Device with easy to find household items.

But first, let’s talk about “air”. Air moves things and even lifts really heavy things, but to most people, the HOW is a mystery!⁣

The basics of flight start with Bernoulli. ⁣Bernoulli was a Swiss mathematician who discovered that the faster air flows over the surface of something, the less the air pushes on that surface. That means that the air pressure on the object is lower than average.

For today’s experiment, that means that blowing air through a straw beneath a ball will cause the ball to levitate! Your air pushes the ball upwards but the fast flow of air around the sides creates a low pressure area that keeps the ball from shooting off somewhere else. It’s like an invisible cage. This concept is what keeps air-planes in the sky as fast air moves over the upper surface of the wings and causes lift!⁣

Below are the steps to Make Your Own Floating/Levitating Ball Device:⁣

  1. Gather the supplies (Straw, Cardboard Tube, Tape, Ping Pong Ball, Scissors).
  2. Cut a slot out of the cardboard tube. The slot should be halfway through the tube, about an inch in height, and 1/2 inch from the end.⁣
  3. Cut a hole just below the slot and slide the bendy end of the straw in the hole. Bend the end upwards and trim so that the straw will not touch the bottom of the ball.⁣
  4. Tape the straw to the tube where the hole was cut such that the bent part is centred within the tube.⁣
  5. Place the ping pong ball on top and blow thru the straw!⁣

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Now, let kids play, observe and answer following questions.

  1. How high can you make it levitate?
  2. What happens when you change the angle of the bent end of the straw?
  3. What other variables can you test?

Looking for more DIY STEM Projects?

Have a look at Skillmatics Buildables series below. Kids will Build, Learn and Explore as they BUILD their own devices with step-by-step instructions, LEARN with practical application of key STEM concepts and EXPLORE the world of science with lots of exciting challenges!

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